One day after the Mt. Talinis tour, I was invited by Antonio the owner of the outdoor shop Island-Life, to visit the caves of Mabinay. I accepted, without really knowing what was in store for me.
We started at 8am in Dumagute City with a brief stop at Tanjay City. After two and a half hours we arrived in front of 2 little houses, where we got our equipment and instructions for the visit inside the caves. We separated in 4 groups of 12 people and started the tour.
The first cave, called Crystal Cave and had a metal bridge installed to make the walkthrough easier. The entrance is protected by a metal grid and is only accessible with an official tour guide.
The second cave is called Panligawan Cave. We arrived soaking wet at the big entrance since it started to rain heavily.
The big hole in the ceiling was created by a heavy earthquake some years ago. It reminded me of the last scene of James Cameron’s Sanctum.
The last and biggest cave is called Pandanihan Cave which is only accessible through a narrow gap. Flashlight use is forbidden, because bats with sensitive eyes breed in this cave.
They say, that this cave was used for some mysterious rituals and also some couples spent their wedding night there. Except for some traces of treasure hunters, the cave stayed more or less in its original state.
After the caving we went to Mabinay Springs. The springs create a little lake with light blue colored water in the middle of a little resort. An overnight stay is only 1000 to 1500 PHP for an entire little house right next to the lake. During daytime you can pursue a lot of activities like zip-lining, kayaking, hiking, caving and soon also quad biking and horseback riding.
The surroundings are very beautiful and our tour guide is very friendly, telling us about the future plans for Mabinay Springs tourism development. At this stage, there are still some places under construction.
The pool area is already finished and looks like it belongs to a five star hotel. Also here you can rent little houses for 1500 PHP a night.
The inner areas of Negros Oriental have a lot to offer for anyone who’s interested in something other than the usual touristic activities at the overflowing seaside resorts. In total I paid 1450 PHP for the whole trip, including entrance fees, equipment and transport. This affordable price was probably only possible because we traveled as a huge group.
Mabinay Springs Video